User Reviews – Tanzania
Email Sandi | 35-50 years of age
Tanzania... best travel experience of my life!
I had the great pleasure to spend about a week and a half in Tanzania in early November, 2009. This was a trip that I had spent hours and hours researching, reading about, asking questions about on various travel forums, and then finally planning with my safari tour operator (Good Earth Tours). I had very high expectations, and they were all exceeded. Everything from the weather, the low number of other tourists (and bugs/mosquitos!), the wildlife viewing, the services and care given by my safari outfitter and private guide, the warm welcomes from the good people of Tanzania, the quality of the food and lodging, the amazing natural beauty of the various parks we visited, all varied and different from one another... just made for the most magnificent trip I have ever taken. And I have taken quite a few. I love to take photos, purely amateur, but some of the photos I came back with stunned my friends and family, they couldn't believe the beautiful sights that I was able to see.
I feel like my itinerary was perfect, I wouldn't have changed a thing about it. Flew into Kilimanjaro Airport, and planned to spend two nights in the town of Arusha pre-safari, just to get acclimated to the time change, and to have a buffer day in case of flight delays or other problems like that. And it was a very good thing that we did that. ("We" was just myself, and one friend... party of two for this entire trip.) My friend had a mishap with her passport as we were preparing to fly out of St. Louis, it was current, but did not have more than six months validity left on it, which we did not know was necessary. What a day that turned out to be...after some scrambling to find out our options, my friend flew ahead to Chicago with hopes of getting her passport renewed on the spot. Thankfully, we had a long layover there before the international flight. Long story short, my friend did make it on the plane to Amsterdam, with only minutes to spare. The door was closing. I was already on the plane, planning to go ahead to Tanzania, knowing that we had the buffer day built in and that my friend could at least make it by the second day, and we would not miss our safari. So, just a word of advice, check your passport date! And do try to have an extra day to recoup when you arrive, or just relax, or to save yourself a whole lot of worry in case something like this happens to you.
The best part about our "extra" day in Arusha, though, was that we did get to have the most lovely lunch at Hatari Lodge, and a half-day visit to Arusha National Park. It was something I had debated back and forth, whether or not to include Arusha National Park in our safari. I am so glad we did. My very favorite photo from the whole trip was from there. And the way we did it was very cost effective... we asked to have lunch at Hatari Lodge, which is inside the park. So it was sort of a bonus to see the park, while we were just driving thru on our way to lunch! And our guide was so wonderful (Prosper was his name, with Good Earth Tours). We were getting to know each other during the drive, and I was just asking casual questions, making conversation. I asked about whether we would likely see Flamingos at Lake Manyara later in the week. Prosper said if we wanted to see Flamingos, he would make it happen. Turns out, the flamingos were actually in Arusha. lol LOTS and LOTS of them. He didn't have to do it, because it wasn't on our itinerary, but Prosper took at least two extra hours of his personal time, and took us to see the flamingos in Arusha National Park after our lunch. It was so beautiful, and such a pleasant surprise. Just a fantastic way to start our journey together.
Sorry for the long story there... but I felt it was important to share. Back to our itinerary:
Two nights in Arusha at the Kibo Palace Hotel
Two nights at Tarangire Sopa Lodge
One night at Lake Manyara Hotel (A Wildlife Lodge property)
Lunch at Gibbs Farm
One night at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
Two nights at Seronera Wildlife Lodge
One night at Lobo Wildlife Lodge
Two nights at Migration Camp (including a full-day game drive to the Mara River)
Flight to Zanzibar
Stayed four nights at Imani Villa Beach Resort
Flight back to Arusha, picked up by Good Earth representative, who took us to some local places for last-minute shopping, lunch, etc. They kept our luggage for us during the day, and then drove us back to Kilimanjaro Airport for our flight home.
Good Earth took such good care of us, and so did the good people working at all the different lodges and camps. The food was so good everywhere we went. At least that is my most humble opinion.
I was especially impressed with the Wildlife Lodge properties. They are extremely budget friendly, and I thought they would be a little more rustic than they were, but was willing to save a few bucks by staying with them, in order to better afford the luxury of Migration Camp as the grand finale of our safari at the end. The Wildlife properties are Very, VERY well located, you are in the heart of all the beauty and wildlife. They are truly great lodges, the architecture of the common areas especially pleased me. And the food here was just as good as the Sopa lodges.
Migration Camp, well, what can I say, but DON'T MISS IT! Just an amazing experience to treat yourself extra special for a night or two. It's expensive, but I think it is worth it for at least one night.
I guess that is the basics, please feel free to contact me for more details! I love to talk about it and reminisce! :)
Email ~lustedtowander~ | 35-50 years of age
Classic game parks, but spoiled by too much industrial tourism.
The very names of the Tanzanian National Parks can fire the imagination! Serengeti... Ngorongoro.... However, while the wildlife viewing is superb, the experience is tainted by industrial tourism, poor facilities and outrageous entrance fees. Many times I have heard foreign visitors say they don't mind the high cost, as it is an investment in conservation. Unfortunately, there is little evidence of tourism dollars being directed towards conservation. That said, if one makes a little effort to avoid the crowds, the safari experience in Tanzania can be excellent.
Email fboekhorst | 20-35 years of age
I love Tanzania. Sometimes (especially in the North) it is a bit touristy, that's why I rated 'bush vibe' good instead of excellent. I'm not into birding.
Email John Carthy | 20-35 years of age
Book an organised safari in advance!
We drove down from Kenya (Masai Mara to Arusha via Nairobi in one day - I don't recommend it) and tried to have a look around Tanzania on our own. It didn't work. Immigration kindly informed us that our very expensive visas were only valid for six days, so we booked into a post hotel in Arusha, had a curry for tea, and frantically searched the town for a four day safari to Ngorongoro leaving immediately. Fortunately, Arusha is full of tour operators, so we found one. Unfortunately, it consisted of a mental Michael Schumacher wannabe driving a decrepid Land Cruiser with a cook whose main contribution was to eat all the meat before the tourists got it. The drive to and from the crater was hairy. As such, I would recommend anybody going to do the sensible thing and book a good tour with a reputable company.
The Serengeti and Ngorongoro are amazing parks. The best Leopard action I've ever had, and loads of other excellent animal and bird encounters. The campsites are pretty good aswell. Prices are very high, as they are elsewhere in East Africa, compared with similar parks in southern Africa.
Due to our visa predicament, we didn't have time to see anymore of Tanzania. I'd love to go back though, and go to Zanzibar and the Selous.
Email Allan Kaitila | 20-35 years of age
Tanzania is a country which has got very beautiful parks with natural animals compared to other African countries though to some places infrastructure is still not good.
Email Johan Gardelius | 50-65 years of age
A family trip to Tanzania
We stayed three weeks, and it was the best trip the family has ever done. Apart from the parks, we also saw Zanzibar.
35-50 years of age
Tanzania has probably the widest, wildest spaces and the biggest selection of wildlife of them all. The people are very warm, and the sense of somewhere else is unbeatable for a first-timer to Africa.
Less industrialed safaris than for instance Kenya, lots of space for animals to wander around.
Email Jussi Mononen | 35-50 years of age
Very diverse destinations, improving infrastructure, and generally more affordable than e.g. South Africa or Botswana.
Email bianca | 35-50 years of age
Wild Wild Africa
So much of Tanzania feels untouched. The southern regions that I travelled in were wildest, purest Africa. Jungle,beaches, mountains, wildlife - Tanzania has it all. Hiking to the waterfalls of the Udzungwa Mountains National Park, negotiating the chaos of Dar's traffic, snorkelling the reefs off the coast and game driving in the many wildlife destinations and sharing a Ndhovu Lager with Tanzanian friends in a bar to round it all off. Karibu sana, rafiki.